Power Yoga vs. Ashtanga Yoga

With time different forms of yoga have evolved, each with a unique set of benefits. The routine of these different forms may have some or several common postures but what distinguishes them from one another is the pace and flow in which the postures are performed.

Recently, a new style of doing Vinyasa yoga has evolved, called Power yoga in which the poses are performed at relatively quicker pace and the sessions are more vigorous. The approach of having a quick pace in performing the postures is not new and is already being practiced in Ashtanga yoga for many years which is why often people confuse power yoga with Ashtanga. Every session of Ashtanga yoga follows the same series of postures while in power yoga routine of each session differs from other and it’s up to the instructor what he or she chooses to include in the practice.

Both of these forms have certain similarities and differences and are equally beneficial in their own respective manner. It is important to know the difference between the two forms that will enable you to choose the right one in accordance to your needs.

It is relatively easy to distinguish one form from another and below are few factors that clearly help in making the distinction.

•    Ashtanga yoga follows the same routine that contains a carefully thought out series of postures in order. This approach of having the same order of postures helps practitioners to go through the series in one flow and to master Ashtanga yoga in short period of time.

Power yoga routines are versatile, and in each and every practice session practitioners get to do something they haven’t tried before. Introducing new poses every single time helps practitioners to learn new postures and makes them habitual of facing new challenges.

•    The eight limbs of yoga; physical postures, meditation, breath control, self-awareness, control of senses, universal morality, self-observance and union with the divine as described in Patanjali yoga sutra are involved in the practice of Ashtanga yoga.

Power yoga mainly incorporates the physical postures and links them with different breathing techniques. Many postures in power yoga sessions are taken from Ashtanga yoga but are performed at a different pace. On usual basis, power yoga is more random and vigorous form of yoga than Ashtanga.

When yoga practitioners move towards becoming yoga teachers, knowing the subtle differences becomes more important. Power yoga was innovated in United States which is where it is most popular, however, for years Ashtanga yoga in being practiced in India and is one of the most popular forms of yoga throughout the world. People come from their native countries to take Ashtanga yoga teacher training in India. Even practitioners who are interested in power yoga first decide to learn Vinyasa yoga in India, before they start practicing power yoga.

Knowing the differences and demands of each form helps you in taking the right decision in choosing either of the form and to enjoy it to the max.

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